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« Z-gen Solid Waste Gasification System | Main | Open Energy, Infinia to Develop a Suncone/Stirling Solar Electric Power System »

November 13, 2006

Comments

Harvey D.

This is good news for alternative biofuel.

When will we build the algae version (colocated) with the 100+ (present and future) coal fired generating plants in the USA?

Do we have an application problem?

marcus

Although feeding the algae CO2 from coal plants gets more bang for your buck it worsens global warming. Having the algae obtain it from the atmosphere keeps it CO2 neutral.

George

What is this stuff going to cost? It is presumably competitive with oil at whatever level the financiers of the project believe will obtain in the relatively near future.

amazingdrx

The best technology to provide the extra cO2 would be fuel cell/turbine power generation using the dry algae residue from the oil extraction.

It operates at 75% efficiency versus the typical 30% efficiency of steam turbine power.

This would be a great transitional technology to eventually eliminate fossil fuel. But would treat coal emissions until coal is no longer used when enough renwable distributed generation and storage takes over.

chris g

Marcus, "Although feeding the algae CO2 from coal plants gets more bang for your buck it worsens global warming." --- I assume you mean "it still contributes to global warming". Basically getting the CO2 from flue gas of a power plant gives the carbon one extra cycle before being emitted to the atmosphere.

Cyrus

Marcus,

Algae experiments are only able to achieve the exceptional photosynthetic efficiencies that have been reported by using concentrated CO2 sources. Using atmosphere, the size of the apparatus would need to be larger. Until it can be profitably demonstrated on a power plant's tailpipe, no one is going to risk the capital to try it at large scale in open atmosphere.

amazingdrx

Actually cyrus, even in open ponds with no extra CO2 algae beats any other fuel crop by a couple orders of magnitude.

But can the extra CO2 be provided directly from the atmosphere by merely supersaturating the water/algae mixture with air? I think so.

That would mean extra O2 also, but what difference would that make? It is the availability of extra cO2 rather than a higher concentration.

amazingdrx

https://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2006/06/petrsun_enters_.html

Open pond algae production can yeild 30 times the fuel per acre of other crops.

Cyrus

I stand by what I said. If it can be done profitably in open ponds, then it certainly can be done profitably with a concentrated CO2 source. Until the easier one has been successfully scaled up, I doubt we will see the more difficult one tried at large scale.

Cyrus

Amazing,

The link you provided states that a firm has just begun to research the problem, and then has lenghthy quotes from the 1970s era DOE study, which used algae in open ponds, but with sparged carbon dioxide as the principal carbon source.

marcus

I guess I may have been wrong since its all about the overall flux rate of CO2. Taking it from coal plants that would have emitted it anyway at least reduces the amount of gasoline that would have been burnt. So overall it still reduces GHGs. However the CO2 from coal plants would still be better off underground with the algae helping us to more effectively reduce GHGs directly from the atmosphere.

marcus

ps If it is feasible

amazingdrx

It's an older article Cyrus. But still shows the inherent enhanced efficiency of biofuel from algae. This much higher growth rate is a function of the design of the algae itself I think.

No roots to grow or leaves for solar collection or respiration, because all the nutrients, gases, and sunlight comes in directly through the cell walls immersed in water. They reproduce like Tribbles! Hehey.

Pure exponential growth. Corn and sugar cane have a harder life.

I doubt it would stay underground reliably marcus. Monitering it would be nearly impossible. When coal is no longer needed the cO2 can come from algae run through fuel cells. And even from the atmosphere itself.

A writer here awhile back suggested using chemical reactions that would increase the amount of cO2 that dissolves in water when air is blown through a mist. This kind of separation powered by wind power could store extra cO2 in the system during high wind periods.

amazingdrx

https://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/rpc/UWTechs/VariousCO2Technologies.asp

This separation process looks promising. Wind powered compressors could provide the energy to drive the cO2 from air through the membranes. The compressed air would store energy from high wind periods and keep the filtration going continuously.

Biofuelsimon

Am I missing something? The reactors appear to be blue and completely metallic. Does this algae grow in the dark? Doesn't photosynthesis need light?

Tim

Yes, that confused me too. They are not talking about bioreactors that grow algae, they are talking about a reactor that changes the oil from the algae feedstock to biodiesel. Note that they said that the plant is currently using sunflower seed oil as feedstock. This is just the last step in the process.

Udo Stenzel

The best technology to provide the extra cO2 would be fuel cell/turbine power generation using the dry algae residue from the oil extraction.

No, it won't. This way you remove carbon from the cycle and don't replace it, so you obviously end up with nothing in the end.

...still shows the inherent enhanced efficiency of biofuel from algae.

...iff given concentrated CO2. Your math and reading skills are truly amazing, drx.

amazingdrx

Well Udo, you forgot a step.

The CO2 from the fuel cell is recycled back through the algae system. The algae system thus makes it's own CO2 for enhanced growth rate.

Half the algae weight is turned into biodiesel and the other half is run back through the fuel cell to produce backup power for the grid and more cO2.

You might turn into a renewable energy booster yet with a bit more science education? Hehehey.

amazingdrx

https://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2006/10/vertigro_algae_.html

Here's the article about the algae system Tim and biofuelsimon.

Udo Stenzel

Half the algae weight is turned into biodiesel and the other half is run back through the fuel cell to produce backup power for the grid and more cO2.

I'll try to explain it slowly again, just for you, drx: ALL the carbon in the algae comes from carbon dioxide. About HALF of that is contained in the oil and removed. Only HALF remains and is cycled back through fuel cell and bioreactor. On the next cycle, only HALF remains, which is LESS than ALL.

Does that make sense? Or do you now claim that magic algae are able to transmute photons into carbon atoms?

(You might as well forget about extracting the oil and just burn the algae whole. Then it is a cycle and becomes a solar power plant with in-built storage. It will be a lot less efficient than photovoltaics, though.)

amazingdrx

Ahh still not getting it huh?

The algae produces biodeisel, a valuable byproduct that reduces the need for oil. The algae is not burned, it is sent through a fuel cell/turbine that is 75% efficient.

The CO2 from the fuel cell running on the algae increases the level of cO2 in the algae system above that level already attained with cO2 from the atmosphere. It need not replace all the cO2.

But merely increase CO2 level in order to increase the growth rate of the algae.

This whole system is much simpler than a molten salt waste recycling, nuclear reactor, it's surprising that you can't seem to understand it. Maybe you don't really want to?

Udo Stenzel

Okay, drx, I give up. Go ahead, build it. See for yourself how much comes out of it at a CO2 concentration of 760ppm. And no cheating with a separate CO2 concentrator that wastes energy!

amazingdrx

That's more like it Udo! Actually I would like to build a home sized unit that produces enough fuel for a fuel cell/microturbine plugin hybrid.

If I can convince you, I can convince anyone! Hehey.

But what I'm saying to you is similar, go ahead and build a few experimental nuclear reactors that will render nuclear waste safe in a cost effective process that also generates power economically. Let's make a deal! between nuclear power advocates and renewable energy boosters.

Maybe we can convince the powers that control the research dollars? I know it's a long shot, but why not at least try?

Cheating to use CO2 separation from the atmosphere using wind power? Why is that? We get to use wind, water, and sun, you get to use nuclear fission. That seems fair.

Why can't one use two different systems. One that dissolves air in the algae/water mixture and in a separate paralell stream dissolve mainly cO2 from fuel cell emissions? When the slurry is again mixed together and fed through the algae/solar system the cO2 level will be raisded enough to provide an accelerated growth rate.

amazingdrx

https://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/13/15309/906/#9

There it is Udo, biogas from digestors run through the fuel cell is the extra CO2 source. Manure runnoff remediation,clean electric power, clean water, and fertilizer as byproducts.

Udo Stenzel

If I can convince you, I can convince anyone!

A big "if". So far you only convinced me that your math skills are inadequate and your reasoning skills non-existent. So please build your algae farm/power plant just to see how it doesn't work.

BTW, you're continually quoting yourself. That's considered a sign of insanity.

Maarten

Worldwide oil production is approaching 100 million barrels a day. If all the coal power plants were used to produce algae which would be converted to biodiesel, how much equivalent energy would be produced?

Skeps

Is the GSPI company real? Smells like a fraud..

American Biodieselist

Speaking of frauds, compare the insulting hype regarding hydrogen and ethanol to the cold sober assertion that "algae [is] the only worldwide feedstock capable of replacing crude oil." This assertion is well said. If and only if you have the strength of character to lay hold of this simple truth and not let go, then you will continue to know what will eventually prevail, despite all the heinous mass hysteria and hypocrisy. Roundly condemning such hypocrisy since it shelters Big Oil at the expense of human life and limb abroad also seems to help...

amazingdrx

(3 000 000 000 gallons per day x 365 days per year) / (640 acres per square mile x 150 000 gallons of biodiesel per acre of solar collector) = 11 406.25 square miles to yield that amount of fuel. 100 million barrels per day, aproximately 3 billion gallons of liquid fuel per day.

Cut liquid fuel use to 10% by going to plugin hybrid fuel cell transportation and 1400 square miles of solar collector algae capacity would meet the demand.

so 1400 square miles divided by 57,268,900 square miles land area+139,668,500 square miles water area= .0007 % of the area on earth's surface.

Could that be done from rooftops, over parking lots, and on floating energy collectors on the ocean? I think so.

The ocean platforms could support wave and wind power generation simultaneously. And all the solar collector space could cogenerate electricity and heat.

Joe McDonald

We are a UK company manufacturing and supplying our patented photo-bio-reactors into the aquaculture, cosmetic, bio-remediation and biofuel sectors. Unlike most other companies out there who promise they can deliver a system or are still developing a system, we can and do actually deliver! Systems are exported globally, run continuously and operate at up to 36 times the density of conventional production systems.

Joe McDonald

We are a UK company manufacturing and supplying our patented photo-bio-reactors into the aquaculture, cosmetic, bio-remediation and biofuel sectors. Unlike most other companies out there who promise they can deliver a system or are still developing a system, we can and do actually deliver! Systems are exported globally, run continuously and operate at up to 36 times the density of conventional production systems.

yosep

we wanth to have contact with the Uk company so please contact us by our web page www.yim.com.mx

Laura

What's with this company's stock? For such a great product & idea, you would think it would be taking off like wildfire!!!

bcole

National Algae Association

Algae: The Next Biofuel

Inaugural

Algae Commercialization
Business Plan and Networking Forum

April 10, 2008

Algae: The New Oil

Early stage algae production algae production companies will showcase their companies at the National Algae Association business plan and networking forum on April 10th. The most promising algae oil production companies will present their new ventures in front of an audience of algae researchers, biodiesel/biofuel companies interested in learning about algae commercialization as well as potential investors and lenders.

Deadline for all business plans and white papers must be submitted by March 28, 2008. Business plans and white papers will be reviewed by the executive committee. Only 6 business plans will be picked to present at the National Algae Association quarterly business plan and networking forum.

www.nationalalgaeassociation.com


Alan Broadbent

These company's are infringing on my US patent 6966942 method of purifying exhaust gas utilizing a bubble generator "using algae". they must not have done their homework. Maybe they think independent inventors don't mater as much as money. de beers hands are covered with blood.

Dr. Rabah Nory From IRAQ

i think the overall story about theses bioreactor just a great fake why S. affrica what about the diatom used in reaction it needs silicons to be grow up. Belive me it is Number one Fake. the web site desing looks folish and cheap style.

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